Is Inflammation at the Root of Alcoholism & Depression?

inflammation cause of alcoholism and depression

New studies are highlighting the role that inflammation plays in depression and alcohol use disorder.

It has long been known that these conditions, depression and alcoholism, often go hand in hand. Those suffering from both conditions must find addiction treatment centers that treat co-occurring disorders. With new evidence on the role inflammation plays in depression and alcoholism, therapies can improve further to offer effective treatment for alcoholism and depression. So, is inflammation to blame?

How Inflammation Exacerbates Depression and Alcoholism

Studies show that inflammation in the brain and body can cause depression, and it can also increase the likelihood that someone will drink alcohol in excess. In turn, alcoholism and depression can increase inflammation in the brain, thus reinforcing the challenges. [1]

Scientists have studied the innerworkings of depression and found that inflammatory responses in the brain can lead to symptoms of depression. Early childhood trauma may increase a person’s inflammatory responses to challenges and increase the likelihood of depression. This is believed to be connected to survival techniques in early humans, and these techniques simply aren’t needed in today’s sanitary and relatively illness-free world. [2]

Still, the inflammatory responses are present in many people, and as the addiction and alcoholism get worse, the inflammation can also get worse, which may feed into depression. While inflammation alone is not the sole cause of depression, there is a growing understanding of how it can aggravate the condition.

Finding Alcoholism and Depression Treatment

Effective depression treatment needs to address all factors of the condition. For those dealing with a dual diagnosis, such as depression and alcoholism, our drug addiction treatment center can help. We offer dual diagnosis treatment at our family of facilities, helping patients successfully combat these co-morbid disorders.

Far too many people with depression also struggle with drinking disorders, and treatment should help patients overcome both challenges. Call 888-280-4763 for help treating depression, drinking, and other co-occurring disorders.


  1. Miami Herald – Depression, alcoholism often an unbearable combination
  2. National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) – The role of inflammation in depression: from evolutionary imperative to modern treatment target
Alyssa who is the National Director of Digital Marketing, joined the Banyan team in 2016, bringing her five-plus years of experience. She has produced a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. Through strategic marketing campaign concepts, Alyssa has established Banyan as an industry leader and a national household name.